Last month (November or Movember) was the month of darker evenings, crisp mornings and impressive moustaches all around.
The reason, of course, is the annual mass participation charity event ‘Movember’, a global fundraiser run by the Movember Foundation. Since 2003, the Movember Foundation has been encouraging people worldwide to grow moustaches during November to raising awareness for male health issues and now has over 5 million taking part worldwide.
To help raise funds for the charity, those taking part are challenged to sport moustaches and/or stay physically active during the month.
Those participating could sign up to the 60km challenge, walk or run 60km over the course of November. The 60km represents the 60 men lost to suicide each hour of every day worldwide.
Movember’s main goal is to significantly decrease the number of men dying too young from prostate cancer, testicular cancer and suicide by 25% by 2030.
The Movember Foundation website states that men die, on average, 6 years earlier than women – something which they believe can be largely prevented.
The charity says that testicular cancer is the common cancer among men aged 15-39 and prostate cancer is likely to double over the next 15 years. Globally, one man dies by suicide every minute, meaning that 75% of all suicides are men.
The Movember Foundation website states:
“Movember is uniquely placed to address this crisis on a global scale. We fund ground-breaking projects all over the world, engaging men where they are to understand what works best and accelerate change.”
Taking Part Counts
Many companies and charities worldwide such as Loreal, Cancer Research UK and Buzzfeed took part in the campaign, they encouraged employees to get involved and grow facial hair and stay active.
CEO and co-founder of eCommerce specialist company Novos, Antonio Wedral, spoke to Unsaid last month and said that his entire team was growing moustaches or exercising in support of Movember:
“We’re always looking to get involved with charities, and Movember was the perfect opportunity to do so, particularly while it’s difficult to get together in person.
Our digital PR manager signed us up for Movember this year. Collectively, we’ve all made an effort to try and raise some money to support the charities goals -whether it’s growing a tache Freddie Mercury would be proud of or running/walking 60km in a month.
And that’s the great thing about Movember, it isn’t just for men – the charity suggests fundraising via exercise, so literally anyone can participate!
Everyone is fundraising in some way, and we’re hoping to raise £500 – we’re actually almost there, so hey, let’s try and get to £1000!”
Ashley Cope, a Business Development Manager in fast-moving consumer goods, also told Unsaid how he was getting involved whilst encouraging others to take part:
“I took part in the Movember campaign mainly to raise awareness of men’s health issues, with the aim to encourage more men to get involved in the future. It’s a campaign close to my heart, particularly the focus on mental health suicide prevention. This year more than
ever has highlighted the importance of talking about such issues and coming together in a fun but engaging way.
Running was a strength of mine back in my school days but this particular exercise has fallen by the way side as I’ve grown older, so getting back into it has been refreshing but if I’m totally honesty so tough! Aligning this with Movember was part of my idea to try and encourage others to get involved who may not enjoy taking moustache selfies but might enjoy getting a post running pic.”
How is the Money Raised Being Spent?
The campaign raises funds to help tackle three of the biggest health issues faced by men globally – prostate cancer, testicular cancer and mental health suicide prevention.
Movember funds ground-breaking medical research including new cancer tests and treatments as well as mental health support.
The charity works with researchers worldwide to create ‘innovative solutions, using new ideas and new technology to solve long-standing problems’.
Since 2003, the Movember Foundation has funded over 1,250 male health projects worldwide.
In particular, the world’s first Prostate Cancer Genome Mapping Project was funded by Movember, which resulted in significant developments in understanding how prostate cancer works.
In 2018, Movember-funded scientists identified why the most common type of testicular cancer is common to some families. This could be a significant step towards earlier diagnosis.
Last year, over 20 countries took part in the campaign, raising USD 82.8 million (62.7 GBP).
£12.8 million was raised for Movember 2019 in the UK alone.
A Year Like No Other
The charity believes that fundraising this year is more important than ever before:
“Movember’s mission is more relevant now than ever. Social isolation has affected the mental health of all of us, including our fathers, partners, brothers, sons and friends. Especially those already finding it hard to stay connected. And its impact will stick around long after the pandemic is over.
For men living with a cancer diagnosis, and their friends and family, COVID-19 has brought a range of new challenges. From interrupted treatments, to the increased risk of exposure to COVID-19 in hospitals and the isolation and loneliness felt by those going thought is all on their own.
The world has changed. But a lot of things stay the same: men’s health is still in crisis, and we still need your help to stop men dying too young”.